Doctors are members of one of the world’s oldest professions. Without them, countless people would suffer needlessly. Society would be trapped in the dark ages in a sense where illnesses that are relatively harmless today would still be deadly. If you’re interested in becoming a healer, you’re in for a challenging and rewarding career. Of course, the path to get there isn’t an easy one. To become a doctor, you’ll need to stick to the following stepping stones. 

College Education

College is one of the first steps to becoming a doctor. You’ll need to complete a bachelor’s degree program, ideally majoring in a branch of science. That may include biology, chemistry, or biochemistry to name a few possibilities. You’ll also need to complete any prerequisite courses required for medical school before officially working as a doctor. Those will vary based on the degree you’re pursuing and other factors. 

Completing the Medical College Admission Test

Next, you’ll need to pass the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT. This is a standardized test that evaluates rising physicians’ knowledge in various fields. It also assesses critical thinking, reasoning, and other factors. Passing this test takes months of studying and preparation, but it’ll open the door to medical school and get you further along in your journey to becoming a doctor. 

Applying to Medical School

After passing the MCAT, it’ll be time to apply to medical school. Of course, getting an acceptable score on that test isn’t the only requirement for being accepted to an accredited medical college. You’ll need your college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other documents. There are also application fees and additional factors to consider. Though you’ll probably have your heart set on specific medical schools, it’s important to be flexible here. Not everyone is accepted to their first choice, or their second one for that matter, even with exemplary academic records and stellar scores on the MCAT.

Getting Through Medical School

Once you’re accepted to medical school, you’ll have an difficult curriculum to complete. Earning a doctorate degree requires four years of medical school on top of your four-year undergraduate program. Your first two years in medical school will probably focus mainly on coursework, such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, and additional relevant classes. In the second half of your stint in medical school, you’ll be involved in clinical rotations and other hands-on educational experiences. 


After graduating from medical school, you’ll need to complete a residency program. That entails real-world training and working with patients under the supervision of licensed, certified physicians. This phase generally lasts from three to seven years depending on your chosen field. You’ll most likely work long hours and face other challenges here, but this training will prove essential as you forge through the remaining steps to become a doctor. 

Certification and Licensure

Following residency, you’ll need to become board-certified and obtain your license to practice medicine. That means passing an in-depth exam in the medical field you’re pursuing. It also involves understanding and complying with the licensing requirements in the state where you’ll be practicing medicine. If you want to become certified in multiple states, you’ll need to meet the requirements for each one. 

Saving the World One Patient at a Time

Becoming a doctor takes time and dedication. It’s also an ongoing process with continuing education requirements arising throughout your medical career. It’s well worth the effort you put into it, though. You’ll be able to help countless people and save lives. If you commit yourself to the journey, you’ll go far in this noble profession, and you’ll have an array of opportunities at your disposal.